"Each part of the world recapitulates, shares in and experiences the history of the world as a whole"
Fernand Braudel

Cuneiform tablet

Second half of the 2nd millennium BC
5.1 cm x 8 cm

This tablet of baked-clay is lengthily inscribed on both sides with cuneiform script. While some of the passages are unclear in places, the tables have been largely deciphered. It is a letter from the King of Ugarit, ‘Amorabi’, to the King of Cyprus, (the ancient name for Cyprus is Alasia.)

Translation of the text:

"Say to the King of Alasia, my father:

King of Ugarit, your son, in this manner, speaks

I bow in front of my father's legs

Peace is for my father

Lots and lots of peace

For your houses, for your wives, for your soldiers

And for all possessions of the King of Alasia, my father.

O my father!

Only, the ships of the enemy came,

They burned some of my cities

And practiced unpleasant deeds

in the country

Father, you do not know that all my soldiers…

Centralize in the Hittite countries

And all my ships are anchoring in Leqipean countries

And until now they do not return to me

So the country has no protection

May father know all that!

O my god! Seven ships of the enemy attacked me,

And made so much damage

And now, let me, in any way, know

If there are more ships of the enemy

May I know?"

This letter from the king of Ugarit to the king of Cyprus shows the respectful and honoring styles of communication at the time. The King of Ugarit calls on the King of Cyprus as his old father and informs him of the challenging situation that has befallen his kingdom. He explains his dilemma – his ships are anchored far and his country has no protection. He requests information, does the enemy plan to attack again?

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